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Little Mister Sunshine

Bermuda proves it can be young at heart.

Our writer’s son makes some wavesOur writer’s son makes some waves.

“I played on this beach in diapers,” admits David Dodwell Jr., resort manager of the Reefs, gesturing to the slip of pink sand between coral cliffs. With his three-year-old now running up and down the shore, I count three generations of Dodwells in residence. (His father was recently named Caribbean hotelier of the year.) No wonder the resort has carved out a family-friendly niche in a spot synonymous with honeymoon, not Goodnight Moon.

So what if you’re reading the children’s menu aloud while couples aglow with the romance of beach strolls and rum swizzles trickle into the dining room? (Our own beach encounter involved an enormous stash of sand toys in the beach shack that caused my son, Andrew, to go starry-eyed.) Unprompted, a waiter might bring over a box of crayons and a colouring book (an illustrated history of the hotel). And when you explain that a choice can’t be made between the spaghetti and meatballs and the macaroni and cheese, it’s likely he’ll disappear with a secret smile and come back with a plate heaped with both.

Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & ZooKids have it made in the shade on Reefs Beach; big creatures impress little minds at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo. (Photo right: Laura Osborne)

Although Bermuda is famous for its turquoise waters, award-winning golf courses and men in pink shorts and knee socks, a rainy day won’t make you feel marooned. Some guests might decide to use their “Do Not Disturb” door hanger, but you and your little people can head to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo – where kids can zip from the Discovery Cove play area to the touch pool (they can actually hold marine creatures in their palms). The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art is home to a rollicking arts program that, come summertime, gets kids up to their elbows in arts and crafts (not everyone’s born a swimmer), while parents take in Winslow Homer and Georgia O’Keeffe. And if you’re looking to really get into the swing of things, the Golf Academy’s driving range is steps away from an 18-hole miniature course, where kids can practise becoming the next, er, Tiger Woods.

Back at the Reefs, you’ll bid goodnight after dinner to your new friends: the crush-worthy two-year-old girl from Brooklyn named Harper with a shining mass of blond curls; the hostess, Edwina, who remembers all your names; your driver, Mr. Barboza, who could easily pass for someone’s twinkle-in-the-eye grandfather; the couple from Houston who laughed when your son said, “Silly mummy, nobody eats seaweed.” This is how it feels to be surrounded by a large, blended family – like an island episode of The Brady Bunch.


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Tags

BERMUDA     FAMILY TRAVEL     SUN DESTINATIONS    

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